by Sarah Corbett
Rudraksha is a large evergreen tree from Asia.
The seeds of the tree are used to Make Mala ( prayer beads)
A Mala consists of 108 beads and is used for repetitive prayers.
It is a common aid to worship in Hinduism.
The Rudraksha Mala has been used by Hindus ( as well as sikhs and Buddhists) since at least the 10th century AD.
The word Rudraksha is derived from:
Rudra (Shiva – the Hindu god of all living creatures.)
and Aksha ( Eyes.)
Rudraksha seeds vary in appearance. The clefts (mukhi) on the surface are significant in the description of the type of Mala.
There are examples available now which exhibit up to 21 Mukhi, however historical record claim Rudraksha existed with up to 108 Mukhi.
Sadhu (Holy men) are often adorned in strings of Rudraksha beads.